This week we have been inundated with requests for river cruises to visit the German Christmas markets along the Rhine river.
Taking a Christmas markets river cruise is an amazing and easy way to immerse yourself in the ambiance of Germany’s traditional Christmas festivities with their host of unique gifts. Together with the stunning Rhine scenery it really is a winter wonderland.
What is a Christmas markets river cruise like?
Just by strolling off the ship, you will walk straight into the heart of the towns and cities along the Rhine and find yourself wandering around the gingerbread house-like stalls. Why not sample a warming glass or two of Gluhwein (Mulled Wine)? Each market has its own special Glühwein mug. For a small fee, it is yours to keep and re-use. Not only are refills cheaper, you’ll have a great souvenir!
Don’t forget to check out the free concerts in churches and palaces surrounding the markets as the music is usually superb.
When is the best time to go on a Rhine Christmas markets cruise?
Most of the markets start towards the middle of November and run up to just before Christmas. It is worth checking with us as which we know which ones to visit when. Some markets do stay on over the actual Christmas period and finish as late as New Year’s Eve.
Also the best time is in the evening when it is dark when you can immerse yourselves in the traditions and sounds as you wander around. Taking in all the festive lights and ambiance. But it will be colder in the evening, so do wrap up warm. If you are really lucky there may well be snow to really put you in the Christmas mood. Even if you only have a few days, there are river cruises from 3 nights to up to 7 nights long. And at this time of year flights tend to be inexpensive compared to the warmer months.
Cologne Christmas Markets
Take a stroll around one market or if you have time, take in all seven Christmas markets on offer around Cologne! Each has its own special atmosphere. Angels and Saint Nicolases, Elves and Father Christmases as well as twinkling stars and the aroma of roasted almonds and Glühwein invite you to browse in the festively decorated centre of Cologne.
Frankfurt Christmas Markets
On the Roemerberg, a beautifully decorated fir tree reaches toward the skies. Frankfurt’s historical old town is brightly illuminated by thousands of fairy lights reflecting off the windows of the square’s traditional half-timbered houses.
The scent of baked apples, chestnuts, gingerbread and mulled wine fills the air. If you’ve ever wanted to experience the wonderful wintertime charm of the old world, then the Frankfurt Christmas Market is the place for you!
A special addition to the traditional Frankfurt Christmas Market is the ‘Pink Christmas Market’ at Friedrich Stoltze Square with the focus on the LGBT customer.
The little market’s stalls and Christmas trees glow in bright pink. The rustic wooden booths serve hot cocktails, homemade soup, gingerbread and much, much more.
Rudesheim Christmas Markets
Christmas traditions from all over the world merge at Rudesheim Christmas Market. Featuring over 120 stalls, from twelve nations bringing their products to the market in Popular ‘Drosselgasse’ area in the historic city centre, on this famous street which is festively decorated with sparkling lights and decorations.
Our Opinion of Rhine Christmas Market Cruises
Christmas markets are only a part of your cruise, relax on board whilst a kaleidoscope of riverside views drift past in all their wintery glory.
Wrap up warm and take in the invigorating air on the top deck whilst taking in the stunning views of the world famous Rhine gorge.